Illustrator Gregori Saavedra has designed a large-scale black-and-white mural to cover a former gym in London King’s Cross while it is refurbished.
The German Gymnasium was built in 1865 and hosted indoor events at the London Olympic Games a year later. The site is now being developed into a restaurant complex by D&D London, and Saavedra was asked to design a mural to cover the building until work is complete in 2015.
The artwork features images of King’s Cross landmarks as well as phrases, place names and people enjoying the area. Saavedra says it is also a visual interpretation of how the site will look. “The first thing I did after being selected for this commission was to visit the area. And I must say it exceeded my expectations – there will be so many new spaces and so much to do. Just another example that London never stops,” he says.
The artwork was created digitally by knitting together various scenes to make a detailed collage. The whole process took around six weeks, explains Saavedra. “[Branding agency] Socrates asked for an illustrated interpretation of the diversity [of] the new King’s Cross. The artwork should address a wide range of people and, at the same time, show the wide range of possibilities that King’s Cross offers and will offer. So I decided to visually depict the actual objective of the piece,” he adds.
Saavedra recently illustrated the Georgians Revealed exhibition at the British Library and has created several large-scale pieces, but says the German Gymnasium is his biggest project to date. “The thing you must bear in mind when you create large-scale images is the quality of the details. Every single line will be seen in such a big size that you have to be aware of that all the time,” he adds.